Paper with throw-away chic
We propose paper, Madame Chairwoman, when the committee comes to lunch in your garden. Set out the tables under huge oiled-paper parasols from Japan; ours are dotted to match plates, napkins, and other accessories.
Toss a salad of giant paper tomatoes instead of a centerpiece — we suggest a bright enamel colander as container. Keep your guests comfortable — and amused — with gold paper lorgnettes. For smokers, keep a big supply of pretty matches and disposable foil ashtrays.
And there’s nothing quite like paper for a late snack after a long evening of television or at the movies. The checkerboard paper makes a perfect tablecloth, we can also see it on the card table, especially if yours is placed on the porch. Plates, cups, and napkins, in His and Her sizes, are color-coordinated. So is that huge paper daisy.
Pack lunches (or dinners) in red paper boxes for a party by the pool. We like nautical red, white, and blue theme (see our upside-down setting, including white plastic cutlery and pop art flag matches). Be prepared for seconds and desserts with a batch of baby boxes. To personalize each serving, a toy boat place card sails on every box. They’re all disposable when the party’s over.
It’s a rainy summer afternoon and your house is bulging with restless children. Throw an impromptu party, paper style. Fill shiny paper bags full of various papers and run a cutting-out contest… first prize for most creative effort. Scissors should be blunt; ours are plastic. The table decorations: a paper village, folder paper trees on chopstick trunks in paper cups filled with sand, stylized houses, and enamel funnel trumpets.
Dine on paper — and serve breakfast, brunch, and buffets on it too. But don’t do it tentatively or timidly. Pick positive patterns — courageous colors. Not ones that pretend to be something they’re not, namely china or pottery. Notice how we combine plain plates (in the boldest colors we could find) with striking patterns in napkins and mats. And how we play pattern against pattern in other settings. Of course, there’s a time and a place even for paper. It’s appropriate for informal meals, informal occasions, informal settings. And this new flair for paper is designed to free you for summer’s more important pursuits.
For hurry-up-and-let’s-go-to-the-beach breakfasts, paper is bright as a summer morning and twice as practical. There’s a striped runner, or if you prefer a whole cloth, all you do is unfold it — plus flowered mats and coasters for under the orange juice glasses. All in the sunniest, cheeriest colors. For fun, pile tissue-paper eggs in a basket.